Some reactions from the legislature to the U's budget proposal
About what you'd expect.
A $242 million state funding request will go before the University of Minnesota Board of Regents in October before being handed over to the state Legislature for consideration next session.
The proposed request includes $100 million in system-wide building renovations in what is called Higher Education Asset Preservation and Replacement (HEAPR) funding. If the request passes intact, the Twin Cities campus could receive $24.3 million for interior renovations to Folwell Hall and $53.3 million for a new physics and nanotechnology building.
"All the requests really stretch the bonding bill," Higher Education Budget and Policy Division chairwoman Sen. Sandra Pappas, DFL-St. Paul, said.
Sen. Claire Robling, R-Jordan, the ranking minority member on the Higher Education Budget and Policy Committee, said she thinks it is wise of the University to not include the Bell Museum in its request this year.
Robling offered an amendment to the bonding bill last session that would have taken the Bell project out and put the funds toward HEAPR instead. The amendment was barely defeated
Getting the requested amount in HEAPR funds is always difficult. In 2008, the University requested $100 million for building renovations but only received $35 million once the bonding bill passed. The same was true in 2009 when a smaller request of $35 million was submitted, but the University only received $25 million.
Pappas said she is supportive of substantial HEAPR funding, but it is hard to give.
"The best way to get HEAPR funded would be to not ask for anything else," Pappas said.
As for new University projects, Pappas pointed to the physics and nanotechnology building as a hefty one that may struggle for full funding. The University is requesting state funds for design and construction, but Pappas said she suspects the state could only fund the design portion of the project.
Robling said the University will have to address the Legislature about its need for a new building rather than renovations to an existing one.
Folwell the best bet. HEAPR slashed. Nano lucky to get planning money, BUT in this economic environment that would be a win...